When installing hardwood flooring if your going to use a mechanical fastener to hold the floor down you have two choices: cleat nails or staples.The question I often get asked is whats the difference? and What’s the best quality?
I started using cleats, but the last two floors used staples, I just get the feeling that the staples hold better, not that there has ever been a problem with cleats. I think both are great as long as install correctly, that the biggest issue I see is people not putting enough fasteners into the floor.
This past week we installed 480 sq ft of hard maple. I’d estimate roughly half of that work was removing the old underlayment – particle board under vinyl that was PL’d and stapled down to the OSB subfloor. After pulling staples on my knees for two straight days and demo’ing with a Bosch Bulldog with a tile blade I could tell you that staples hold better. My nailer is a 3-in-1 Freeman that will shoot either, so I went with the staples.